Not surprisingly, the central players here bring their share of baggage to the task at hand. Astronauts Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) and Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) are introduced on an ill-fated space flight, one that leaves his career and life in shambles.
Emmerich shares script credit with Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen, and to call the underlying plot convoluted would be an understatement. At one point, Donald Sutherland shows up at an unlikely location, blurts out some helpful information about a government coverup faster than you can say “JFK” and disappears almost as quickly.
Beyond that, the cast gets saddled with absurd situations and clunky dialogue, including an alternating structure between those heading into space to save humanity and their relatives (because, hey, it’s all about family) fighting to survive while all hell breaks loose back home.
Bradley might be the only one to emerge unscathed from the wreckage, making the most of what’s essentially the Jeff Goldblum role in “Independence Day” as the resourceful outsider (and relatable nerd) who outsmarts all the NASA brainiacs, after having been dismissed as a crackpot.
Charitably, the movie does possess a certain can-do spirit, without as much of the bring-the-world-together vibe sometimes associated with the genre.
“Moonfall” might have already been a long shot to light up the box office, in part for the reasons Emmerich has outlined, but a less headache-inducing premise surely would have helped its cause.
“I didn’t come this far to fail,” Brian states with square-jawed earnestness.
But in terms of the movie, if not the mission, by then, it’s already too late.
“Moonfall” premieres in US theaters on Feb. 4. It’s rated PG-13.